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Kuindzhi created the work “The Chumatsky Highway in Mariupol” in order to gain recognition of the Wanderers at the next exhibition. As the main feature of the painting, the artist hoped to highlight its realism, and he did it wonderfully.
In this work, Kuindzhi portrayed his familiar Mariupol in the smallest details. After all, this is the painter’s hometown, where he was born and raised, and along the Chumatsky tract that passed through the spacious southern steppes, he often went to Feodosia. The road received this name from the Chumak merchants who transported goods from one city to another along it. Most often, fish and salt were found in their carts.
The canvas depicts a road along which such trading carts with oxen harnessed scurry about. This work is associated with wet weather. The road got wet and turned into dirt, carts and cattle shine from the rain, the sky was covered with clouds. Wet road, completely wet with rain and turned into a dirty mess, carts and cattle shining from rainwater, a gloomy lead sky. This spectacle makes the Chumaks sympathize, because in such weather, you do not even want to go outside without extreme need, not to embark on a long journey. But merchants must tear through mud to earn money and feed their families.
The plot of the work may seem somewhat monotonous, but if you look closely, the unthinkable fullness of the work, it would seem, with incompatible colors does not go unnoticed. There are complex color solutions, such as multifaceted transitions from cold to warm tones. The picture is dominated by green, white, yellow and blue.
As in many Kuindzhi's works, the sky plays a separate and decisive role in composition. The clouds were heavy with rain, but there was a noticeable bright spot in the middle in the gray clouds. Bright light oozes from neg, although the sun is not visible at all. The sky is about to fall on the people below. This effect creates a sense of hopelessness and doom in the viewer.
The Wanderers praised this work of the author, since such a social subtext is very close to this movement. This allowed the artist to find support in creative endeavors. However, in further creativity, the author’s paths with the Wanderers diverged.
However, it is worth noting that the “Chumatsky Tract” is not a passing work of Kuindzhi at a separate stage of his creative life. This picture was recognized and gave the creator the confidence necessary to come from a poor family. This confidence allowed him to believe in himself and leave the Academy of Arts for his own experience.
Picture N Romadina Village Khmelevka Composition